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Letter, October 15, 1918

[Letter on plain stationery. Dated October 15, 1918 but postmarked October 22. Received November 6, 1918.]

Oct 15 - 18

My dear cecil -

A day or so ago was a lucky day for me. I rec. 14 letters, 2 from you Jul. 31 & Sept 8. and it had been so long since I had rec. any mail I did nothing all day and next but read & write.

It is very rainy here now, probly will continue so from now on. Sure makes it bad for us up in the front, but we all are hoping for better days to come, if only we will be permitted to live that long.

my light now is a candle. I have a dozen more when this one is gone - they just cost us $1.00 per doz. is all. so we can afford a candle once in a while. they have electric lights beat, for there are no globes to get broken, no wiring or anything, just light it and set it up some where and that is all. nice soft yellow light they make, real nice it is. Well Cecil I am sure glad you are at Emerys again. The malleable iron is no place for you. And you are right in thinking that I would be glad to hear of you going to nite school. I'm more than glad to hear it, for you have to do these things to acquire the position you want, especially when you are handicaped as you and I have been. Parents not being able to put you thru the required ammount of schooling, so then your future is determined by your own efforts. You certainly have the right idea, and you seem to be going after it in the right way and spirit, but be careful. if you get hard up against it, dont for gods sake give up, if your school seems to loose the brilliant part and gets down to grim old work, you don't seem to be accomplishing what you should and it gets pretty distasteful, then is when you may need encouragement, and would like to be there at such times to give it if possible, but good positions are not gained without hard work, remember that; and if you keep pegging away at it, and can't gain what you had at first desired, you will be able to get more - much more, than if you had not made the effort. so you see, in the long run its worth the time and effort even if you do fall short of your aims. Its one thing to start out for an education, but its another entirely different thing to complete one. I mean complete one up to a certain standard. Its no doubt that the work at the store and hard study and giving up your regular ammount of pleasure will tend to discourage you and some times you no doubt will think "whats the use." But keep pegging away, there is a use and you will discover it once you've gone far enough. I may think now. here I am thrown back going onto two years now and will by all probability be more, that there is no use any more of going to school, too late, I only hope I dont think so when I come out of this and that I will be presistant in going to school as I now hope to do. For in that way only will I ever be able to gain the point of effeciency I desire. I think that your quitting at Emerys was a real good lesson for you. one does get at times dissatisfied with any kind of work, and most anything then looks better, but as you say you are young an can be excused. and experience is a darned good teacher, too. Yes, you had best settle down and be good; no doubt it did seem like home to get back there again. But Emerys seems to me, a good place to work while undertaking a business course like you speak of. And your imagining people dont like you. I can heartily symapathize with you, for I've been the very same way. I must be you are more or less self consious. You may have to forget yourself and your thots of what any one may think of you. Its not what they think, its what you think that does the work for you. I believe study will help you. it will give you confidence in your self and your undertakings, make you think l[ess] of what people might be imagining about you. What if they don't like you? If they treat you alright is not that enough, and suppose they slight you, it may not be done intentionaly, maybe they have something of their minds and over look a few courtesies and also be watch full your self, for you may do the same thing and if they are of a touchy nature, they may show it and you wonder what is the matter, never realizing you may have unconsiously, at some time gave them a slight cause. so the only way I can see to over come anything like that would simply be to go about your own business with the thot in mind that you have your own part to play and that your bit is as important according to size as any one else. And when you can make them feel you are their friend and make them feel that you feel them to be your friend, I'm most certain they will be just that to you.

A person is to you, as a rule, what you make them feel. If you don't like a person don't show it, try to like them and I'll bet you will find some of your best and closest friends in just that way. We have a fellow in our company who I thot was high headed and thot every one b[e]low him. Seemed not to associate with but few. I did not speak to him for a long time for I thot him snobbish. Now he is one of my best friends, or I feel he is and make him feel I think that of him. and he is just as sociable as any one, once you get next his nature. He is in the band and of course I see him and am with him more than any other one. For in a way our ideals and ideas are very similar. Our natures quite a bit the same. He has done well in Mathematics and very enthusiastic about schools as he expects to become a teacher on mathematics in some large school, and he I believe will succeed for he is not afraid of work. I hope to hear quite often from you now you have started the work, yet I realize more of your time will be taken up and not so much left for writing, but please try to write as much as you feel like spareing the time for. I am interested and believe you can better your position if you just stick with the start you wrote me about.

Well little girl here's hoping you luck and persistency, that should be enough. I do wish I were there, so you could play for me on the piano. I dont know what I'd enjoy more; and I dont want to see you forget or give up on your music. Its too fine an art to treat slightly. and I might add its nessessary for no doubt you some time will have a home of your own, you must have music there. I will close with love to my best little pal-

Paul B Hendrickson Hdq. Co. 129 Inf. A.E.F. via


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October 1918